Spring is upon us, and it feels germane that we take a moment to celebrate artists of color whose work has inspired us over the year so far. Read on to learn about two rising BIPOC artists who are leaving their mark on the city’s cultural landscape.
First up, we have Rixy, a Roxbury-based street artist who is taking her talents to the next level. Rixy’s work has been seen across the East Coast, moving between institutional walls and public streets. Her work is a mix of public art, live activations, and illustrative portraiture inspired by “narratives of feminine exuberance.”
In the past few years, Rixy attended TheCreateWell’s Converging Liberations Residency at Mass MoCA, served as a WorldwideWall:Worcester Golden Year Muralist, and is currently a Public Art Accelerator with Now+There. She’s also an artist in residence with Elevated Thought, a social justice nonprofit in Lawrence, MA.
“A lot of my work really wanted to complement those feelings of how raw and vulgar and how hard it is,” the artist told the Boston Globe. “Trying to find beauty through the trauma in a lot of different ways.”
You can visit Rixy’s work at Trustman Art Gallery, Simmons University, in an exhibition called Enter the Cúcala: Paintings and Mixed Media Assemblages by Rixy.
Shantel Miller’s figurative paintings create a visual language to transcend the lived and imagined experiences of her inner world. While exploring constructs of race, gender, and religion, she pulls from personal narratives as a departure point for understanding broader social realities.
Her collage-like approach to image-making suggests relationships of tension and intimacy between signifiers that influence perception and identity. What arises is uncommon imagery sometimes depicted with isolated moments of photorealism and bold colors to evoke emotional tonality within the subject matter.
Fresh off her recent appointment as Ujima’s 2022–24 Arts & Cultural Organizing Fellow, Miller has been hard at work in the studio, featuring Dorchester parishioners as her subjects. Her work made an appearance in Body Language, an exhibition presented at the newcube booth of the Future Fair.